With all of the attention brought upon unschooling lately, I decided to write an unschooling FAQ page for this blog. I thought, “If someone is researching unschooling and, against all odds, stumbles onto my blog, I’d want them to get some answers.” So, that’s why I wrote it. I’d love any feedback. Any questions I should add? What do you think of my questions posed to schoolers? 

(Oh, if you don’t know about the firestorm, here’s the list of places to see/read about Good Morning America’s piece and the attention it has brought onto our quiet little community:
GMA’s first segment
GMA’s second segment
Rebuttal on Child’s Play
Rebuttal on Huffington Post
Unschooling family on Joy Behar
Rebuttal on Organic Sister
Rebuttal on Swiss Army Wife

There are many more responses, but those are some that I have found.)

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8 Comments on "A New FAQ"

  1. Brian
    22/04/2010 at 12:48 am Permalink

    Unschooling is such a disservice to children. They won’t get into college, will have a shitty job, and will never really accomplish much. You might think you are being a progressive or creative parent in doing this, but it is just crap.
    Does school teach them everything? No.
    So teach them some shit at home too, but they have to go to school. If not only for the social experience. Jesus, there are some retards in the world.

  2. Sheri
    22/04/2010 at 10:21 am Permalink


    Found your blog through the link @ Child’s Play.

    I really enjoyed your FAQ and think you did a great job. I especially loved the bit about algebra…it made me laugh out loud.

    Now I’m going to read the other rebuttals to the GMA segment you’ve listed. Thanks for having them all in one place like that.

  3. Cassi
    22/04/2010 at 11:30 am Permalink

    @Brian: Thanks for your opinion. I have to admit, it made me chuckle a little bit. Are you serious? I just don’t know how to respond to you, since I don’t think you really know what unschooling is. As many others have pointed out, in many other places, the term “unschooling” gets misconstrued because of the negative prefix. Would you be less abrasive against something called “life-led learning” or “immersion learning”? I think you suffer from a very common disillusion that we adults KNOW what those dumb kids need to learn. We have knowledge that they cannot get any other way than if we force it down their throats. This has been disproved time and time again, and in many unschooling families around the world. And, so you know, unschooling is not a new idea. It is one of the oldest and most successful forms of education we have. The school system as we know it was created in the 1800s in order to make people more submissive and, eventually it was used to make good factory workers. Seriously. Look into the history of education and you’ll find that it was created in order to reign in the free-thinkers. Before that, everyone lived as an unschooler – seeking out their own learning. The wealthy may have had private tutors, but those tutors followed the students’ interests. John Holt started the unschooling movement in the 1960s, trying to get back to pre-systemized education times. In other words, there are now unschoolers who are grown, successful adults who are now unschooling their own children. This isn’t a new movement and I don’t believe I’m being progressive. I’m actually being kind of old school.

    I am sorry that you think so lowly of my children and of all children. I will promise you this: my kids will go to college if they want and they will follow the career path that they desire. You may or may not deem their careers “shitty”, but I don’t give a damn about your judgment. By the way, I have a bachelor of arts and two masters degrees, and I don’t use any of them to live my life. My husband has a degree in something he never uses and had to learn everything from scratch for his job. In his career (video game production), about half of the employees don’t have college degrees because they started in the industry right out of high school – and many of them are in the job they are passionate about. Our world is changing, and the most cutting edge professions are starting to disregard college degrees and starting to look for people who are passionate about their work.

    Finally, you say that they don’t learn everything in school. You are very correct. In fact, they learn roughly 10% of what is taught. And, if you think back to your own high school experience, how much to you actually remember and use? Do you know all about the war of 1812? How about Moby Dick? Can you tell me what the quadratic equation is and when you would use it? And you know what? IF you needed those things, I bet you could find them out now. Just as our kids do if they see the real purpose in learning something. In contrast to schooled kids, unschool kids learn closer to 80-90% of what they are “taught” because they seek it out themselves.

    My advice: do some research and find some grown unschoolers. I can point you to a couple of unschooled teenagers who write their own blogs and you can judge for yourself whether or not they are “educated”. Click through the blogs on the right side and start expanding your mind. Some that are written by unschooled students are: Eli Gerzon, I’m Unschooled. Yes, I Can Write, and Adversarian.

    @Sheri: Wow, sorry for that novel. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found me. This thing really has brought about some interesting attention (see Brian), so I thought I should be part of the dialogue.

  4. Idzie
    22/04/2010 at 12:11 pm Permalink

    @Brian: I’d also like to direct to this, an interview with a very “successful” grown unschooler: http://radiofreeschool.blogspot.com/2010/04/cameron-lovejoy-is-this-what-i-want-to.html

  5. Sheri
    22/04/2010 at 12:16 pm Permalink

    No apologies necessary Cassi. Your response to Brian is great, very thoughtful and mature. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of patience and I have to ignore such uninformed drivel lest I respond with a qualified expletive or two.

    And thanks for your contribution, it certainly has been a whirlwind of information, misinformation and varying opinions. It’s kind of exciting to have so much discussion going on.

    I’ve bookmarked your site so expect to see me around. 😉

  6. Cassi
    23/04/2010 at 3:34 pm Permalink

    @Sheri: a few of those expletives crossed my mind too. But, I chose to counter ignorance with information. Not sure it makes much impact. We’ll see.

  7. Wendy
    24/04/2010 at 9:28 am Permalink

    Wow, I’m amazed at how irate some people get about this ‘unschooling’ thing! I think if we’re unsure of something, maybe even disagree with an idea, surely we could think of more compelling words to say besides those written above. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I guess. You handled it very well.

    I am one of those who is researching unschooling. I’ve joined an unschooling group on yahoo and that’s how I saw your blog address. I plan to take a look around and try to get some questions answered. Thanks.

  8. Cassi
    26/04/2010 at 11:10 pm Permalink

    I’m glad you’re looking into unschooling and that you found my blog. The Yahoo group is a great resource – very open and helpful people. Feel free to ask questions of me or anyone else in the group. Also, you might check out some blogs of unschooled students – those were very insightful to me when I was first exploring this concept.

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